When it comes to teaching kids about Jesus, the “I teach; they learn” mentality seems like a streamlined way to transmit information, but it certainly won’t be engaging for young minds. When you’re putting together children’s ministry ideas for teaching kids faith, it’s important to ensure that your students maintain interest. We do ourselves a disservice if our focus is more on the delivery of the lessons than their reception.
If your Sunday school curriculum has felt lackluster and doesn’t engage your students, here are five innovative ways to get kids involved in Bible stories.
- Songs about the Bible and Bible Stories
If you have a young child, there is a strong chance that you’ve caught them running around your house singing “Baby Shark” more times than you’d like. While songs like this can be equal parts charming and annoying when your kids request them ad nauseum, the tendency for children to repeat the same tunes over and over again reveals something about the power of music.
It’s no surprise that children remember song lyrics easily, so this may be an excellent tool to help increase engagement with your Bible stories for kids. Fun sounds and lyrics are not only enjoyable for children, but they also help children remember the information.
There are a number of ways that you can implement songs into your Sunday school routines. Prepared songs that encourage Bible verse memorization can help keep God’s word in their hearts, while songs that tell Bible stories may help the students envision the stories in a new light.
For older kids, you may even decide to let them make up songs on their own to give them a bit of creative license. Allowing this type of ownership gets all of your kids involved in the stories and gives them something to take home and carry in their minds throughout the rest of the week.
- Skits and Roleplaying Games
If you’re looking to get kids physically involved in learning Bible stories, there may be no more involved activity than acting them out.
Your students will love the fun of getting to be someone new for a few minutes and stepping into the mind of a biblical character.
On a basic level, you can provide your students with scripts and let them act out the script to learn about the stories in the Bible. You may even choose to push them a little further to make them think more deeply about different biblical characters.
It may be a fun exercise to ask questions like,
What do you think Jonah would have done if . . . ?
Why do you think that Moses did . . . ?
Encouraging your kids to think beyond just what Bible characters did and discover why they did those things is helpful for getting them to think about the core purpose of different Bible stories.
- Bible Coloring and Activity Pages
Coloring and activity pages are a classic way to teach Bible stories, but they may be more beneficial than you realize.
Certainly, coloring pages are a great way to engage students because kids tend to enjoy the opportunity to be creative and use their hands rather than sitting and listening.
Besides being fun and engaging, even something as simple as a coloring page offers children a sense of ownership over their learning. Rather than a handout created by their teacher, those activity pages are something they get control over and are able to take home as a reminder of their learning.
- Reading Aloud
There are tremendous benefits to reading aloud. Research shows that kids’ reading comprehension is drastically improved when they are read aloud to rather than when they only read stories on their own. Reading comprehension matters for more than just the school systems. If we want our kids to be engaged in the stories, it’s important that they have an acute understanding of what they are reading. Try reading a Bible story from the Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids. These whimsical retellings make for a great read-aloud experience!
Aside from reading the stories aloud to your students, you can offer kids a sense of ownership if they are allowed to read the stories themselves. Having kids take turns reading the story gives them an opportunity to be actively involved in the class rather than just sitting and receiving.
It’s important to be sensitive to the needs and abilities of the kids in your room. For a student with a learning disability or other health impairment, reading aloud could be a mortifying (and genuinely traumatic) experience. Be sure to choose appropriate texts for your kids and don’t force anyone to read, but invite them all to engage if they choose.
- Short Videos About Bible Stories
While videos are often considered a passive form of teaching, the right type of media can be engaging and informative in ways that a lecture or storytime isn’t.
Engaging videos can be an effective tool for teaching kids about Jesus without having to originate lots of work by yourself. When kids enjoy the media they are consuming, they are much more likely to remember the stories they learn. This is also a great way to establish a positive connotation toward learning Bible stories and keep the activity from becoming dull and boring.
Use these helpful tools as ways to spark conversation and as a guide for the rest of your Sunday school lesson.
Maintaining the involvement of students in your Sunday school lessons should be a top priority. We couldn’t consider ourselves successful if we’ve taught a brilliant lesson that no students understand or remember.
If you’re looking to boost your kids’ involvement with Bible stories during Sunday school, we have a number of helpful resources to add to your curriculum. Check out our online catalog of Sunday school resources, activity pages, and engaging media to start increasing involvement at your next class!